On the big day we will follow you as unobtrusively as possible most of the time, capturing the wedding as it unfolds. There are three photography moments at a wedding however, that require a bit of planning.
Morning bridal portraits
Morning is the best time to take portraits of the bride – beautiful makeup and hairstyle, eyes full of excitement… We love those moments – when we have them. Which happens not as often as we would like. Because… Brides never finish getting ready on time. There will be a lot of distractions, morning preparation often gets hectic, something or someone will arrive late… Don’t expect things to go exactly as planned; leave some slack in your morning timeline. Your morning preparation will take at least half an hour more than you think it should, probably even more. Also, keep in mind that we will need to leave for the ceremony half an hour before you do – the time is needed to park the car, get our photo gear ready, talk to the vicar, take photos of the church, etc.
Formal group photos
Formal photos will take around 30-60 mins depending on how many you want: each photo will take 3-4 minutes. It might sound like a lot of time for just taking a picture, but when you consider that for each shot we will need to find, collect, arrange people and pose them, and then take a few shots of each arrangement – you will understand where all that time goes. One photo that should be considered separately is the “All attendants” shot. It will take about 15 minutes to do – that’s the time usually required to collect and arrange all the people, so take that into account if you want to have that photo. We suggest going for under 8-10 group shots, which will take around 40 minutes. In our experience, if it takes more than that, people (and most importantly you, the couple) will likely get bored to death and just cancel the rest of the planned group photos. The best time to take group formals is usually during the cocktail hour before the wedding breakfast, but they can be done after the ceremony or at any other suitable time.
You will specify the group shots that you want when you fill out our online questionnaire.
Romantic portraits of the couple
These will be the best photos of the day, the ones you will want to hang on the wall. The absolute bare minimum to take some good ones is 30 minutes. We suggest, however, to set aside an hour if possible. When you receive the portraits you will be glad you took the time to make them :)
During summer the ideal time to start taking romantic portraits is 40 minutes before sunset. If that time must be allocated to something else, just plan these for as close to sunset as possible, but we would strongly encourage you to find the time during sunset – sunset portraits are absolutely stunning. The simplest way to find out the sunset time on your wedding day is by just googling it – type in something like “sunset time on 11 july 2018 in oxford”.
Winter is different in this respect. It can get dark as early as 4PM (see above for how to check that in Google) and it will certainly be dark by 6-7PM when your wedding breakfast is finished. The best time to take romantic portraits in this case is before or after the formal group photos.
We know very well how confusing it may be to plan the wedding day with all the constraints and preferences. Please, please, please do contact us if you have any questions at all. We are not just being polite here – good planning will make your day much more enjoyable and will allow beautiful photographs to be taken without feeling stressed or rushed.